You probably wonder what it is we get up to on our day-to-day. Do we spend all our time crunching numbers? Or do we take a break to play with our spreadsheets? Read on for a look into a day in the life of one of our accountants.
Rise. No alarm needed. I wake up fresh, emboldened and ready to face the day. My work is something I am hugely passionate about, and I find that in these early hours are when I can get the most done. I will put in a couple of solid hours before breakfast and it makes me feel twice as productive for the rest of the day.
Since I prepare my morning tasks the night before, I’m able to leap in immediately. I actually prefer not to start by reading overnight emails, and instead do this later on. It really saves me time to read emails, action their request, reply and then file as one single activity.
Since I work from home, I can be from slumber to desk within 15 minutes: How’s that for a morning commute?
I get on the phone to HMRC as soon as their call centres open to resolve tax issues and queries. I’m pretty sure they know to expect me by now, because I’m the only caller who’s there bang on at 8am every day. I skip the caller queues and those 30 minute hold times. HMRC appreciate proactivity, which means I often get the best outcome for my clients.
Breakfast of yoghurt and muesli, eaten while I watch the world go by.
My usual daily routine tasks involve reviewing and approving the various accounts and tax returns prepared by my team, which basically involves going over their work with a fine-toothed comb to check it’s all kosher and accurate. They very rarely make mistakes, but for the sake of diligence and conscientiousness, it is a necessity.
Since my practice has expanded, the amount of time that I personally spend processing accounts has dropped. It’s probably only around ¼ of my working hours now, as my role has changed to be that of an overseer.
I enjoy a lunch consisting of hummus, wholemeal bread and salad. I use this time as an opportunity to reflect on the day so far, regroup and consider what I have to do for the rest of the day. As my work pattern changes every day, depending on what is needed, there isn’t really a set timetable.
I will respond to service requests from prospective clients and prepare quotes to sign them on. I always offer potential clients a free 30-minute consultation, where I assess their needs and make recommendations based off of that. I also deal with any current clients who are in need of support.
Potentially the strangest request I’ve ever had to deal with was the person who’d been running a business for 20 years without ever having submitted any tax returns. HMRC had caught up with them, and they’d found themself in some trouble. Luckily, I was able to show HMRC that their earnings were too low to pay tax, so they weren’t put through the ringer too much.
One of the big advantages of waking and starting as early as I do is that I can finish early. This is particularly good in the summer. I usually finish the day with an hour’s cycling around for fitness and pleasure, before the evening traffic builds up. I tend to avoid cycling in the dark so in winter months, I go for a run instead, at least when my knees are up to it! I’m not as flexible as I used to be.